My name is Erin G. I am the mother of three beautiful children (Andrew, Nicholas, and Delilah). I am also a labor and delivery nurse. My first two children were full term and had “normal” deliveries. That is not the case with my daughter!
My pregnancy with Delilah had been absolutely perfect! I had less morning sickness than I did with my previous baby’s. When my husband and I found out at our 20 week ultrasound that our baby was a healthy girl, we were elated! We began to slowly get ready for her arrival in June, painting the room, having several name discussions, etc. Not in a million years did we expect to have such an early and dramatic beginning to this baby’s life.
On March 14th, (27.5 weeks pregnant) I went to work (I work the night shift as a labor and delivery nurse). At 0400 in the morning, I began to feel dizzy. We had been busy, so I thought I just needed to eat something. At 0445, I ate my “lunch.” I was still feeling dizzy, even when sitting down. At 0530, I went to lay down. I was not getting any better, continuing to feel very dizzy, starting to get clammy, and I did start to have some cramping. I had also noticed at this time that I had not felt the baby move since 11pm that night.
I called the charge nurse, and she suggested that we check me into triage and put the baby on the monitor. We were both thinking that I was possibly dehydrated and maybe coming down with a tummy bug. Boy were we wrong! At 0600, when we put the baby on the monitor to check her heart rate, it was low. I was quickly given oxygen and some IV fluid. At this point, I was in pain, not wanting anyone to touch my belly and I was unable to lay on my back. We called my husband, who was quickly on the way (so thankful my Grandma lives around the corner so she could watch the boys). It also happened that my doctor was on call that night and in the hospital. After about 15 minutes, Delilah’s heart rate improved with the oxygen and fluids. However, at 0700, I felt something wet between my legs. It was blood. A lot of blood. I was quickly given a shot of steroids to help with the baby’s lungs, and a dose of magnesium sulfate to help protect her brain. We were hoping that the bleeding would stop to “buy some time” for the steriods to work (at least 48 hours is ideal). Unfortunately, I continued to bleed heavily. Delilah’s heart rate on the monitor began to look worse. At 0725, I was moving down the hall for an emergent cesarean section, with my husband and skilled and treasured co-workers by my side.
Delilah Jane was born at 7:47 AM. She weighed 2 pounds 14.7 ounces and was 15 inches long. She was 12 weeks and 2 days too early. She stayed in the NICU for 57 days. At this moment in time, she has very little sequela from her preterm delivery. She has Grade 1 bilateral brain bleeds, a small PDA murmur, Stage 2 ROP, and an umbilical hernia. We are blessed beyond measure.
I had an acute placental abruption. My placenta was tearing off of the uterine wall, causing me to bleed and also depriving Delilah of blood and oxygen. I had absolutely no risk factors for a placental abruption. After delivery, I developed DIC (a blood clotting disorder as a result of the abruption). I received 7 units of blood and 2 units of FFP (a blood product). I am now a huge advocate of donating blood! My daughter and I are both lucky to be alive.
Delilah is now 5 months olds, 2 months adjusted age. She weighs 12 lbs 4 ounces and is 22 inches long. She loves to eat (breastfeed) and has the cutest smile ever! We are so blessed.
“Find though she be but little, she is fierce,” Shakespeare